Meet Victory: John Dykstra

Meet John Dykstra, a Senior Brewer here at Victory Brewing Company. He’s one of men in blue working hard to make the beer you love taste so good.

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Q: Your title is Senior Brewer. What do you really do here?
A: Essentially, I am in charge of insuring that what we put into the fermenters is within spec. It’s my job to make sure that the pre-fermented liquid is the right color, has the correct cell count, etc. That involves everything from ordering raw materials to overseeing hop additions to measuring yeast.

Q: How long have you worked for Victory?
A: A little over two years. Before working for Victory, I was with Capital City Brewing Company in Washington D.C. And before that, I was a private sector marketing consultant.

Q: What is the coolest thing about your job? And the worst?
A: I like that brewing is a nice mixture of mental and physical stress. We have to do equations and figure out water levels and yeast counts one second, and then carry dextrose up on the deck the next second.

I’m the one guy who misses wearing a tie to work. I look for any excuse to wear a tie these days. I’m always the nicest dressed person anywhere because I never get to wear a tie to work. Most people would consider that a benefit, but I want to look nice on occasion.

Q: What was the worst job you ever had?
A: I was a cook in college at a crummy restaurant. It wasn’t all-bad because I learned to cook, but management was terrible there.

Q: Tell me something about yourself that no one would know just by looking at you.
A: I’m actually a pretty passionate cook. I like to make just about anything, but pizza is my specialty. I make my own dough, sauce, etc. I also make a pretty mean posole, which is a Mexican stew made with hominy, radishes, mushrooms, onions, peppers and a ton of other ingredients.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A baseball player.

Q: Now that you’re a grownup, what do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Rich — but I am pretty comfortable with what I’m doing right now. Not rich in wealth, but rich in spirit.

Q: You discover a magic lamp, like Aladdin, and you get three wishes. What are they?
A: World peace, an end to world hunger and, if it’s kosher, I’d wish for more wishes.

Q: Finish this sentence: Beer is…
A: A fermented beverage made with water, malt, yeast and hops.

Q: What’s your favorite snack food?
A: Potato chips. I go through a couple bags a week. Specifically, kettle chips.

Q: What is your favorite line to quote from a movie?
A: “With friends like you, who needs friends” – Rushmore.

Q: What is your favorite Victory beer and food pairing?
A: Prima with spicy fajitas. It works as a nice palate cleanser.

Q: What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid?
A: I watched a lot of old-school TV like the Andy Griffith Show.

Q: Tell us something that you were into as a kid/teenager that you are totally embarrassed by now.
A: I was one of those obnoxious Dave Matthews Band fans. I thought he was great. I got a guitar and tried to learn to play even though I lacked talent. It lasted a few years.

Q: Someone is making a movie about your life, and it starts filming tomorrow. Who should be cast as you, and who should be cast as your love interest?
A: Eddie Murphy in a fat suit will play both roles.

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European Tradition.


American Ingenuity.

The Victory Brewing Story

The story of Victory Brewing Company starts on a school bus in 1973 when fifth-graders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski stepped aboard, on their way to a new school. The two became fast friends and remained so, even as they grew up and went to college on opposite coasts. Just months out of college, Bill’s appreciation of good beer and access to his father’s home brewing equipment inspired him to explore the hobby. That same year (1985), Bill gave Ron a home brewing kit as a Christmas gift. With that, both Bill and Ron developed their love of the craft…
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